December 5 at 8:47 PM ·
Cutting a Christmas Tree at the House of Old at R. R. # 4
You know when you are a city folk and you decide to move to the county, and it’s your first Christmas at the House of Old. You know all it takes is a dusting of snow that glistens in the dark when the moon shines. One can not imagine what thoughts goes through your mind, it’s the Christmas Season
It does not matter that the house is not new and fancy, maybe you don’t have the latest in household items. What matters is the beauty and the serenity of the place. If you take the time to look at your surroundings you are in awe of what the night brings. I found I could see stars I never did in the city before. The old Owl was sitting on the corner of the Barn that had seen better days, but this was a distant project to protect. The Hoot from the Owl just completed the setting and life was good, he was just acknowledging our presence, he approved.
You know, I might want to call myself a bit of a romantic, but life was good, my family was with me, everyone enjoying a walk after dinner. A discussion was happening with some very excited voices of the kids, what their first Christmas in the Country what was going to be like. They were all excited about venturing to the Sugar Bush to cut down a fresh tree from the land where they lived.
They were happy with the first snowfall, and our dog had been taken off his lead to walk with us at his leisure, he had to be tied as he did love to chase the neighbour’s cattle and that was a, No, No. You never think of the retraining of your pet, to country ways but there is, after all sort of beasts, he was not used to like porcupines, who demonstrates displeasure should he get to close. While being tied, he was so used to the deer coming to the apple trees he did not seem to bother with them. I do have to admit the kids, maybe thought some of the deer were Santa’s Reindeer. Every once and awhile they would speak to our dog Bow and say, don’t hurt the babies, and he never did chase them or did he harm them in any way. He would watch as they cleaned up the falls on the ground and enjoy every morsel. Was it magic maybe they were some of Santa’s reindeer.
From the first snowfall, the idea of Christmas was sure to generate conversation on Christmas and what it was going to be like in the countryside. To keep our two children on track and focussed, we decided that the tree that would be cut, would have nothing but handmade decorations. There will be a couple of exceptions and that was the old antique ornaments of my grandparents and parents tree, and they just always went on, you know one of those traditions. In order to keep the children busy we decided that we would get them started making the Christmas Ornaments for our tree.
Well the decoration workshop got busy, and we planned what would go on the tree. Some coloured construction paper was bought, adults cut with the scissors and the kids made the chains and glued. An old bushel basket was placed in the Summer Kitchen to put the ornaments as they finished. We strung popcorn and cranberries for garlands. The bits and pieces of skeins of wool was gathered to make some hanging little dolls, both boys and girls.
We had decided that we would invite the extended family for Christmas Dinner, Oh dear our Dream of an Old Fashioned Country Christmas had got slightly out of hand. The last head count was about fourteen adults and OMG kids, about eleven of them, yes we had a place to hold that many bodies as we would be eating in the Summer Kitchen which was a big room.
The heating for the Summer Kitchen was a big old Findlay Wood Stove, six plates and a warming closet with Lion Heads adorning the corners and a water reservoir attached to the stove. As we heated with wood in the house we did have a good supply and it was just outside in the wood shed. No Worry, my husband always called me the wood sorcerer, as the wood furnace was my chore to keep it burning, it went out when he tried to tend it.
The food was good, everybody was bringing something, an old fashioned Pot Luck, and I did not have to do the desert–someone else had volunteered, I had Christmas Cake we made for a treat. We had enough Potatoes, Carrots and other things from the Garden, including summer savoury and parsley. I had made some Meat Pies (Tourtieres) and Sausage Rolls, using my Mom’s recipe, we had enough to feed an army.
As we were having a fresh tree it would be put up a week before Christmas, the Summer Kitchen was cool and that was good for the tree. Come Saturday, the kids were out of bed at the Crack of Dawn, and were ready to go, breakfast was needed so that did slow down the pressing duty. To watch the expressions on their face it was worth a thousand pictures. We found a tree and it was a beauty, the only thing was it was big. Father cut another piece off the bottom when we brought it in, and soon it was in the old pail with some water to keep it fresh, with the cut off branches used for some greenery to decorate. The only problem was keeping the kids from decorating, right away, they just could not understand the tree needing to find its place and the branches fall into place. They did not need a lesson in a tree being frozen being outside, too much information for the situation.
It was a good thing school was still in session for a couple of days, as this put off the decorating process for another few days. When the anticipation was at its highest peak and holding off decorating could not be extended any longer, so the tree trimming started. Now being as they had never decorated a tree from the start, it was hard to restrain them while Dad was placing the lights on the tree. One could tell that this process was definitely holding them back and they were all ready to start.
“Is it time yet Dad, can we put some decorations on yet, please Dad”.
It was a parent decision to let them go ahead and we would rearrange later. Homemade star for the top, crochet decorations over Candy Canes, Some Pine Cone Elves, and the chains and the garlands are a few of the Creations that adorned our tree, and the treat the fresh smell of evergreens. It was a good idea to not bring out the tinsel, as the placement would have been clumpy and not one string at a time. Restraint is great in some situations and I have to admit that the tree cutting, homemade decorations, and all the elements, just did fulfill the dream of a Country Christmas in a country setting, and what a delight that we made the decision to come.
By the way the meal was delicious and the family did enjoy their experience of a Christmas in the Country. A trip to the Sugar Bush for some, while dishes were being done was also a highlight. The next Christmas we had our own home raised Turkeys, the taste superb, after all they were fed fresh corn and apples from the farm, along with their meal. Each family received a turkey as part of their Christmas Gift. Have not tasted a good wholesome turkey since leaving the House of Old.
From the ✒ of Noreen, Dec 2020